West Highland Flora

Spearmint and Apple Mint


Mentha spicata agg

Taxonomic note: Here taken to include M spicata, M suaveolens, M longifolia and their hybrids M x villosonervata, M x villosa, M x rotundifolia.  Most of these are not likely to be found in the area, M spicata and M x villosa being perhaps the most likely.  The plants are so variable that it is very often impossible to assign a specimen to the right species or hybrid, and as these are non-native plants that include garden cultivars I take the view that most amateur botanists will be content to lump them.

Mentha spicata agg

Photo Carl Farmer
12 Sep 2002 Portree, Skye

Found here and there in damp waste ground, often forming extensive stands

Flowerheads 5-15 mm across, narrower than in other mints.

ID: ID'd as a mint by minty scent.  Told from other mints by: Leaves unstalked, or with stalks no longer than 3 mm; stem terminates in narrow cylindrical or spike-like flowerheads.

Other features: Inflorescence usually has several branches.  Flowers white, pink or mauve.  If the plant produces seeds it is probably M spicata, but could in theory be M suaveolens or M x rotundifolia.  If it is sterile, it is probably M x villosa but could be M x villosonervata.  M longifolia does not occur wild in the British Isles but is the parent of at least 2 hybrids that do.

 

Mentha spicata agg

Photo Carl Farmer
12 Sep 2002 Portree, Skye

 

Mentha spicata agg

Photo Carl Farmer
12 Sep 2002 Portree, Skye


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